In midst of political violence, America greatly needs unity

In midst of political violence, America greatly needs unity
© Getty Images

What many forget in seeking to analyze this election is that we need to go forward as a country after the election is over.

That may sound like a truism, but when you have events like Democratic activists in Nevada attacking the campaign manager of Republican Adam Laxalt, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE going to Montana and saying it was great that Congressman Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteJournalists seek federal, state support for right to inform the public Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo criticize Trump’s response to Coast Guard lieutenant's arrest Sarah Sanders: Trump hasn't ‘at any point’ done anything but ‘condemn violence against journalists' MORE body slammed a reporter before his victory in the special election, that is just plain wrong. It’s wrong if the Democrats do it, it’s wrong if the Republicans do it, it’s wrong if anyone does it.

Let me be clear: Political violence has no place in our system, threats of violence have no place in our system, and it is pointless to try to say that Democrats are worse than Republicans, or that Republicans are worse than Democrats.

For the purposes of this piece, and indeed I believe to the American people, both sides are culpable — and that is just plain wrong, and is wholly unacceptable.

We have emerging crises in health care, the budget, the debt, the deficit, and we need conciliation and consensus if we are ever going to achieve positive change.

We cannot do this by demonizing the other side, and as Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyWill Trump ignore the Constitution and stay in White House beyond his term? Trump taps ex-State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to help oversee White House fellowships Conservatives slam Omar over tweet on Gaza violence MORE said, compellingly, at the Al Smith Dinner on Thursday Night in New York, “in America, our political opponents are not evil,” she added “they are just our opponents.”

I think this was the first step in Ambassador Haley beginning the process of disassociating herself from President Trump. Mind you, I do not believe that Ambassador Haley is preparing for to run in 2020, though she is probably indeed available to be on the ticket should the president decide to drop Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDozens of graduates walk out in protest of Pence address Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Congress has a duty to go through with the impeachment and public trial of President Trump MORE, who has only served to be an acolyte for the president.

Ultimately, Haley served a more important point. Without betraying the president or her Republican principles, she has made it clear that there are certain values that are transcendent to American society that cannot be compromised, and evil around the world needs to be called out and judged for what it is — whether it be in Syria, South Sudan, or elsewhere.

Personally, I was uplifted by Ambassador Haley’s speech, just as I have been depressed by much of what has passed for campaign to 2018.

Right now, it appears that the Democrats have a clear but narrow advantage in the House races, and Republicans have a clear advantage in the Senate. That means that we are going to have a divided government, one way or another, and I cannot see how we can go forward and achieve our goals if we do not recognize explicitly, clearly, and unabashedly the need to compromise.

Now let me provide a slightly different take on the collusion investigation. It is very clear, regardless of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s report, that the Russians did intrude into our election, and it is clear that they had a demonstrable impact. Whether they threw the election to Trump or not, time will tell.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania has written a scholarly book “Cyberwar” in which she forensically examines the campaign and makes the case that cyberattacks by Russian hackers and trolls were decisive, but I do not think the evidence at this point is clear.

Though, what is clear, is that the Republicans have succeeded Vladimir Putin’s main goal: to further divide us, to polarize our country, and ultimately, to weaken us.

Of that, I am sure. They have won and achieved their goal, and we have lost. We have real enemies, and we have real challenges that require a united country with a united sense of purpose.

I was uplifted by Ambassador Haley’s speech, and hope it is the first of more to come from both the Trump administration, and the Democratic leadership in Congress.

Douglas E. Schoen (@DouglasESchoen) served as a pollster for President Clinton. A longtime political consultant, he is also a Fox News contributor and the author of 11 books, including “Putin’s Master Plan: To Destroy Europe, Divide NATO, and Restore Russian Power and Global Influence.”